No season debut in sight for Juan Ayuso

 Juan Ayuso at the 2022 Vuelta a España
Juan Ayuso at the 2022 Vuelta a España

Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) will not make his 2023 debut for at least another month, as the Spanish sensation continues to be sidelined through injury.

A tendinitis issue was first reported by UAE Team Emirates in late January as they pulled the 20-year-old from the Volta Valenciana, and there still no confirmed timeframe for a comeback.

"We have to go step by step, with patience," team manager Joxean Matxín Fernández told Spanish newspaper AS.

“It's still difficult to know [when he'll return], but it could be at the end of April.

"We're not putting any pressure on him nor stating a certain race, because that could also force things, which is not our intention."

After dominating the U23 Giro d'Italia in 2021, Ayuso turned professional with UAE Team Emirates in June of that year and went on to mark his first full season with a remarkable podium finish at the Vuelta a España.

However, his preparations for 2023 led to tendon issues, which appear to have led to complications that have outlasted initial expectations.

"We're talking about a mentally mature rider, so we're not having to slow him down too much. He knows that it's for his own good," Matxín said.

"He sees that the team is winning races and sees that he also has the level to win races. That might be the hardest thing, but he will return to a great level.

"I'm speaking to him every day. Being by his side when everything's going well is the easy thing, but it's in these moments that you really need to be there."

Despite the delay, Matxín insists Aysuo's season will not be entirely derailed. He is set to return to the Vuelta a España, which is still five months away.

"His big goal this year will be the Vuelta, and the fact that it's a medium-to-long-term goal is also something that's keeping him calm."